Lawyer/surgeon's legal malpractice case goes to trial Monday

Amelia Flood Dec. 3, 2009, 5:00am


A long-running dispute between a lawyer-surgeon and the law firm that represented him in a medical malpractice suit he lost will open for trial Monday morning.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla has scheduled two weeks for the trial.

Plaintiff Dr. Rocco Marrese is suing the law firm of Gundlach, Lee, Eggmann, Boyle & Roessler of Belleville for more than $800,000 in damages.

Marrese, a lawyer and an orthopedic surgeon, claims the Gundlach law firm made mistakes in its handling of a medical malpractice trial brought against him by patient Mike Adams.

A jury eventually awarded Adams $1.8 million.

Marrese's insurance only paid out $1 million, according to his complaint.

An appellate court affirmed the verdict.

In Marrese's suit, he claims the law firm was negligent by:

  • Permitting without objection Adams to call him to the stand and to cross-examine him as an adverse witness when he had not been designated as such by Adams;

  • Failing to raise the statute of limitations as to portions of the alleged maltreatment which would have been barred;

  • Permitting Adams in his final argument to make statements without objection which were untrue and harmful which created prejudice;

  • Failing to employ and present a rehab expert in order to accurately describe Adams' injuries and conditions so as to refute those of Adams' expert; and

  • Failing to make investigation of matter related which could have provided material to impeach and discredit Adams' testimony.

    According to the court schedule and discussions at a Nov. 24 pre-trial conference, the trial will take place over the span of two weeks.

    The 2004 suit was originally assigned to then-Madison County Circuit Judge Don Weber.

    The Monday trial is slated to begin at 9 a.m.

    Marrese is represented by Glenn Bradford.

    The law firm is represented by Brent Baldwin.

    The case is Madison case number 04-L-082.

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